Three months ago, things were really really rough. While it was lovely living back in Oklahoma City, near our families and our church, civilian life had certainly turned out to be a "grass is greener" situation. It's so easy for people to say that "money isn't everything" when they aren't the ones who are stressing about how they are going to pay their rent and bills and put food on the table. We were beyond our breaking point. We were broken. My husband, John, was working himself to the bone as a diesel mechanic and doing all that he could, but doing things within our own knowledge and strength just wasn't enough. I began crying out to God on pretty much an hourly basis. I told him how we had screwed things up and that it was all our fault we were in this mess but that we couldn't fix it and we needed Him to fix it. And then suddenly- He did.
You see, back at the beginning of the year, my husband had applied for a job in the Active Guard Reserve (AGR.) Every army reserve unit has full time people who stay at the unit in addition to their one weekend a month that people typically associate with the reserve. AGR people are considered active duty and receive active duty pay and benefits, but it's not the tedious babysitting type of job that a normal active duty NCO has to endure. Well anyway, weeks turned into months without us hearing anything back and we had both just sort of assumed it wasn't going to happen and had forgotten all about it. Then out of the blue one afternoon, John called me just before his shift and said that he had gotten an email saying that he was being offered an AGR slot!!! I was elated! God was answering our prayers!! I asked if it was at his reserve unit to which he was already assigned, but he said no.
"We aren't moving to Enid are we?"
"Uh, it's a bit farther than that."
"South Dakota?" *chuckles*
My husband informed me that the position was senior mechanic at the army reserve unit in Pocatello, Idaho. My reaction to that was, "Where is Idaho? I'm going to have to look on the map..." (Obviously Geography was never a strong subject for me.) And then another shocking twist:
"The email says we have 24 hours to decide and let them know or I'll be moved to the bottom of the list and there's no guarantee that another position will be offered to me again."
I'm not going to lie. Initially I was crushed at the idea of leaving my beloved Oklahoma City. The place where I thought we were settling down. I had spent the past seven years trying to get us back and now we were going to have to leave!? And have I mentioned that I was 9 months pregnant with our fifth child at the time? I so badly wanted to say no, but I knew that this was God. This was God showing compassion, showing us love, fixing our messy lives.
By the end of my husband's shift God had really softened my heart and gave me peace about everything. A week later and I was actually excited about going! We hustled to get as much of the house packed as we could over the next few weeks, and on August 31st I gave birth to our fifth child and first daughter, Nicola Jane.
Was it easy pulling my kids out of school (again), driving over a thousand miles (again), and starting over? Of course not. (Let me just say this- I never, ever, EVER want to drive through Wyoming again for the rest of my life. No offense to the ten people that seem to live in Wyoming...) But here we are. Trying to walk through the doors that God is opening, and embrace where we are.